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Preliminary LiDAR Analysis and Excavation of Residential Water Features at the Ancient Maya Site of Yaxnohcah, Central Yucatan

Author(s): Jeffrey Brewer ; Chris Carr

Year: 2016

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Summary

The collection, storage, and management of water was an ongoing challenge—and necessary focus—for the ancient Maya, who occupied a physical environment with a pronounced annual dry season and a general lack of perennial surface water necessary to support and sustain an expansive population. The urban center of Yaxnohcah, located within the central lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, provides an ideal test case for studying how the residents of this important Maya center managed their crucial, and ephemeral, water resources. We employ an interdisciplinary approach combining LiDAR analysis and excavation data to examine the spatial characteristics, cultural modifications, and functional nature of residential-scale water tanks—a little-investigated component of Maya water management. Small reservoirs were an adaptive component of expanding Middle Preclassic to Classic period urbanization at the site, and appear to have played a significant role in the unified hydraulic system linking hinterland settlement to the urban core of Yaxnohcah.


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Preliminary LiDAR Analysis and Excavation of Residential Water Features at the Ancient Maya Site of Yaxnohcah, Central Yucatan. Jeffrey Brewer, Chris Carr. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404934)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America